A video of drunk contractors for the military in Afghanistan that has emerged as part of a lawsuit has turned a critical eye again to the issue of highly-paid contract workers in war zones.
The drunk contractors engaging in questionable behavior is only one of the many criticisms of the use of contractors in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, workers often paid salaries several times that of our enlisted soldiers, many of whom hover near the poverty line and whose families have relied on food stamps.
As we reported yesterday, the video of drunk contractors was taken by fellow workers at Jorge Scientific by whistleblowers John Melson and Kenny Smith. Melson and Smith say that the behavior they observed within Jorge Scientific — a company that received nearly $50 million dollars to run “security” in Afghanistan — ran contrary to the work the company was paid so handsomely to carry out.
Attorney for Melson and Smith, David Scher, commented, saying the drunk contractors posed a safety threat:
“These people were drunk beyond the point of incoherence, and could not possibly defend themselves if they were attacked.”
Jorge Scientific has released statements downplaying the antics of the drunk contractors, but Scher says their behavior was egregious and indisputably a danger, particularly given their roles in the company:
“That is a gross understatement of what these individuals did … These individuals are the security manager for the facility, and the operations manager for security for the entire country of Afghanistan for the company.”
Danielle Brian, who heads up nonprofit watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, explains that the behavior of the drunk contractors puts all Americans stationed in Afghanistan at risk:
“This is the kind of behavior that is making people in the area – Afghans – have more disregard for the Americans who are there.”
Have you seen the clip of the drunk contractors in Afghanistan?